AN East Lancashire YouTuber and former radio host has opened up being ‘catfished’ and has an important message for his viewers.

Phil Lester, from Rawtenstall, posted the story to his ‘AmazingPhil’ YouTube channel, which has four million subscribers.

In the video, he talked about the time he got catfished (lured into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona) around 16 years ago.

Speaking in the video, he said: “I’m bringing you a story time filled with twists, bisexual confusion and emo hair… this is the time I got catfished.”

Phil explained that he met his catfish, 'Luke', on a social media platform called Myspace.

“Myspace had a very weird culture,” the 34-year-old explained. “The general point of it was to try and get as many ‘friends’ as possible while trying to be as cool as possible.

Lancashire Telegraph: Phil Lester (Photo: YouTube/AmazingPhil)Phil Lester (Photo: YouTube/AmazingPhil)

“I decided to turn nerdy, teen, lanky Phil into ‘emo’ mysterious MySpace Phil.”

“At that time it was normal to add anyone from your city in case you just wanted hang out – which sounds weird now.”

'Jake' had 1000 friends and Phil remarked that his profile “seemed pretty cool”.

He added: “He said he had tattoos and seeing bands, he was from Manchester which was a big plus.

“I was innocent – I didn’t think humans would lie or do anything weird on the internet. How wrong was I?!”

After several attempts at trying to video call ‘Jake’ he finally answered one day – but only his arms were visible on the call.

Phil, a former Rossendale Grammar School pupil, explained: “It seemed to be a guy but it was it was just a pair of arms and a t-shirt.

“Of course there was no voice – he said the classic ‘sorry my microphone is broken’

“At this point I did get a bit suspicious about why he wasn’t showing his face.”

One day, ‘Luke’ and Phil agreed to meet in Manchester and Phil was waiting for him in a food court.

After assuming he wasn’t going to show up, Phil decided to get a bus home  - but he was approached by a male and a female.

In the video, Phil explained: “I explained [to them] that my friend had bailed on me and they suggested I hang out with them – and they seemed like pretty normal people.”

After spending some time with them, Phil asked for their Myspace profiles.

“The boy when bright red,” Phil explained. “[My] bus started to approach when the girl just blurter out ‘we are Luke’.”

In the video, Phil joked that his “soul left his body” and he “couldn’t process” what was happening.

Phil said: “I looked over at the guy and they were the very same arms I’d spent hours confessing my deepest hopes and fears to.

“Both of them were the catfish - both of them were Luke.”

They made profile to get more friends on MySpace and used the account as a 'game' to see how many followers they could gather.

Phil said: “They wanted to tell me the truth but they were too embarrassed as it had gone too far.

"The guy said he wanted to tell me on the video call but he kind of bottled it.

“The plan was to meet up with me in person and then tell me the truth at a food court. When they saw me they were too embarrassed”

When he returned home, Phil blocked and unfriended their accounts.

“It’s a shame this happened before the MTV show [Catfish],” Phil said at the end of the video, “ I think this would have been a spicy episode.”

Phil concluded: “It’s not the weirdest thing to have happened to me because of the internet – but it did teach me a lesson.

“The moral of the story is don’t take role play too far… or maybe it’s that you don’t have to pretend to be really cool on the internet if you’re just yourself.”

At the time of writing, the video has amassed over 121,000 views with his followers flocking to the comment section to talk about Phil’s experience.

One person said: "I feel like if you haven’t been catfished once in your life it’s an achievement."

Another joked: "Rather than being shocked you decided to meet up with someone suspicious from the internet, im just astonished that you just decided to hangout with some randomers that approached you on the street.

"Phil, it is a miracle you're alive today".

You can watch the full video on the AmazingPhil YouTube channel.